Who Hijacked Our Country

Friday, March 30, 2007

Good News From Pakistan

The tribal region of Northern Pakistan has long been a sanctuary for Islamic terrorists. This area has been suspected of harboring Osama bin Laden. But lately the local tribesmen have been turning against foreign terrorists operating in their country.

About fifty Islamic militants — mostly from Uzbekistan and Chechnya — were killed earlier today in clashes with native Pakistanis. A Pakistani official said all together about 177 foreign militants have been killed by locals since last week.

The Pakistani government has been unsuccessful in getting rid of al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, especially in the tribal regions. But lately the government has been signing treaties with some of the tribes, hoping to drive a wedge between the tribesmen and foreign terrorists. This approach seems to be working.

The latest battle started when a terrorist group tried to forcibly recruit students from a local tribal school.

Now THIS is the way to fight the Global War On Terror. Persuasion. Capturing the hearts and minds of millions of people, village by village, tribe by tribe. It beats the shit out of alienating the rest of the world by bombing, invading and occupying.

Afghanistan and the tribal regions of Pakistan have never been conquered by an outside army. The Soviet Union in the 1980s and England in the early 1900s are the most recent would-be conquerors to get their asses kicked. Now it’s al Qaeda’s turn.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

John McCain: “We’re Making Progress In Iraq”

Listen up all you doom and gloom Liberals: John McCain says we’re starting to turn things around in Iraq. You got that?? So quit your whining and hand-wringing and start supporting our troops.

OK, so this invasion was supposed to be a cakewalk and it turned out to be a 4-year quagmire that’s killed over 3,000 American soldiers and drained almost a trillion dollars from our treasury. Get over it. Let’s stay over there until we win. There's light at the end of the tunnel. The insurgency is on its last legs.

And if you don’t agree with McCain’s cheerful optimism, it means you don’t support our troops and you want the terrorists to win.

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

U.S. Marine Corps — A Story

A friend e-mailed this to me:

The Marine Corps found they had too many officers and senior enlisted men. It was decided to offer an early retirement bonus. They promised any officer or senior enlisted man who volunteered for retirement a bonus of $1,000 for every inch measured in a straight line between any two points in his body. Those applying got to choose what those two points would be.

The first officer who accepted asked that he be measured from the top of his head to the tip of his toes. He was measured at six feet and walked out with a bonus of $72,000. The second officer who accepted was a little smarter and asked to be measured from the tip of his outstretched hands to his toes. He walked out with $96,000. The third one was a non-commissioned officer, a grizzly old Sergeant Major who, when asked where he would like to be measured replied, “From the tip of my weenie to my testicles.”

It was suggested by the pension man that he might want to reconsider, explaining about the nice big checks the previous two officers had received. But the old Marine insisted and they decided to go along with him providing the measurement was taken by a medical officer.

The medical officer arrived and instructed the Sergeant Major to “drop ‘em,” which he did. The medical officer placed the tape measure on the tip of his weenie and began to work back. “Dear Lord!” he suddenly exclaimed, “Where are your testicles?”

The old Sergeant Major calmly replied, “Vietnam.”

Friday, March 23, 2007

America’s Gilded Palace in Iraq

How many of you think American forces will ever, ever be pulling out of Iraq? Gotcha! We’re staying and we’re digging in. We’re gonna be that unwanted relative who moved in and never left. And the Iraqis will LIKE it!

We’re building a sprawling embassy in Baghdad. It’ll be the largest American embassy in the world, covering an area the size of Vatican City. Our new imperial palace will be on 104 acres, with 21 buildings and a staff of 5,000. Congress has already appropriated $1 billion toward building this embassy. But don’t worry, we’ll be leaving soon.

Our new fortress/embassy will be occupying the grounds of Saddam Hussein’s former palace. How’s that for symbolism? “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

A construction foreman with 27 years of experience, John Owen, quit his job on this project after seven months. Describing the contractor, First Kuwaiti Trading & Contracting, he said “I’ve never seen a project more fucked up. Every U.S. labor law was broken.”

John Owen informed the U.S. State Department — who had awarded this contract to First Kuwaiti — of what he had witnessed: security breaches, safety violations and workers being beaten by their managers. And this was right in the middle of the American-controlled Green Zone. The labor camps where thousands of these migrant workers lived had practically no sanitation or medical care.

First Kuwaiti imports most of its workers from the Philippines, India, Nepal and Pakistan — not from Iraq. Because of so many safety and security concerns, some of these governments have now banned their citizens from working in Iraq. These countries’ passports are often stamped with “Not Valid For Iraq.” Because of this, First Kuwaiti has had to “sneak” these workers from Kuwait into Iraq.

Here's how it works: the workers are told by First Kuwaiti that they're going to Dubai. They're herded through airport security, with instructions to tell Customs that they're going to Dubai. Then at the last minute, the workers are instead herded into a different, unmarked plane that flies them to Baghdad instead of Dubai.

A medical technician was fired by First Kuwaiti after he reported several deaths that he thought were from medical malpractice. His observations included: “There hadn’t been any follow up on medical care. People were walking around intoxicated on pain relievers with unwrapped wounds and there were a lot of infections.” He also said “I told First Kuwaiti that you don’t give painkillers to people who are running machinery and working on heavy construction and they said ‘that's how we do it.’”

Isn't this great? No wonder those grateful liberated Iraqis showered our troops with flowers and ice cream. As the article says, this sick twisted fiasco is “the most lasting monument to the U.S. liberation and occupation of Iraq.”

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

American Family Association is a FRONT for the Homosexual Agenda!

Yes, fellow Christians, you read that right. God help us all! Our world has been shattered. The Reverend Donald Wildmon and the American Family Association are secretly PROMOTING the homosexual lifestyle, the Gay Agenda, Sodom and Gomorrah — call it what you like.

This video is from the American Family Association website. They're busted! Outed! The truth is ugly and painful, but it’s better that we know. Oh My God. Let. Us. Pray.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

The World Through Neocon Lenses

Happy Anniversary, fellow Americans. And what a glorious four years it’s been — the proudest 4-year period in our nation’s history. Just think, four years ago the world was threatened by the most bloodthirsty dictator since Adolph Hitler. He had Weapons of Mass Destruction which he might unleash at any moment if we didn’t act instantly.

Not only that, but he had close ties with al Qaeda and every other Islamic terrorist group in the world. They were all watching us, just waiting to see if we’d have the nerve to fight the Evil Dictator. If we didn’t, the terrorists would know we were just a bunch of Surrender Monkeys. Our failure to act would encourage them to attack us any time they felt like it. Well, we showed ‘em. When we toppled Saddam Hussein, those Islamic terrorist groups just collapsed. POOF! We haven’t seen a trace of them for four years now.

When we invaded Iraq, our soldiers were greeted as liberators. Our Mission was Accomplished and within just a few days our troops were all brought home safely. Since that time, Iraq has been a prosperous democracy; the Jewel of the Middle East. Everything happened exactly as Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld had said it would. Oh, and the revenue from Iraq’s oil industry has more than paid for all of our military expenditures.

It was all so neat — let’s do it again.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Iraq vs. Vietnam

This columnist is saying “A generation ago, Vietnam blew up politics as we knew it. Why isn’t that happening now?” Then he answers his own question by saying the Democrats haven’t offered any solutions yet. He says “Democrats haven’t fashioned a compelling (even to themselves) alternative to George W. Bush’s world view. Unless they do, they could lose in 2008.”

Regardless of whether that’s true, there's another reason Iraq hasn’t blown up in our faces. We don’t have a draft any more. At least technically we don’t. (Although, with the same “volunteers” being herded back to Iraq again and again and again, even after their doctors have declared them medically unfit for battle — but I digress…)

The Vietnam War had its share of chickenhawks —Cheney, Wolfowitz and all the rest of those pathetic armchair warriors at Project For A New American Century. But they had to work for it. They had to constantly make sure their draft status didn’t change to 1A. The most reliable way to keep from getting drafted was to stay in college — even if it meant getting Ph.D.s in twelve different subjects. At one time being married would keep people from being drafted, but that changed sometime during the Vietnam war. After they changed it, you could be drafted even if you were married with children. And the number of occupations that were “draft-safe” kept on shrinking.

So it was a constant struggle if you wanted to be a chickenhawk, and it made for some awkward contradictions. “We need to keep fighting over there and do whatever it takes to keep the Communists from taking over uh oh I just got a letter from my Draft Board, I have to go straighten this out right away. Oh God…”

Today’s chickenhawks, on the other hand, only have to do one thing to stay out of the military: Don’t enlist. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

A tiny percentage of America’s population — service members and their families — is gravely affected by the Iraqi war. It’s the center of their lives; it’s turning their lives upside down. Meanwhile, the other 99% (just guessing at the number) can just go on about their routines, totally unaffected by the war. They might argue about it, but they aren’t contributing anything to it and they aren’t inconvenienced by it.

And THAT is why Iraq hasn’t “blown up American politics.”

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Say Goodbye to Internet Radio

Have you been enjoying some of the thousands of radio stations available on the Internet? Well, listen while you can. Their days are numbered.

The Copyright Royalty Board has increased — drastically, brutally increased — the royalty fees that Internet radio stations will have to pay. The Board’s decision was the result of intense arm-twisting by those anal retentive douchebags at the Recording Industry Association of America.

The entire royalty structure has been changed. In addition to the fee itself going way up, radio stations will have to pay this fee per performance (each song played), and this fee will be multiplied by the estimated number of listeners. If a station averages 500 listeners, this station will be paying more than $50 for every song played (the performance fee of eleven cents multiplied by 500). And this fee is going to keep going up and up and up every year.

How many of these hole-in-the-wall operations can afford this? It’s been fun.

What happened to that vast unlimited frontier that the Internet was supposed to be? When the FCC was allowing radio stations to merge and merge and merge, part of their argument was that the Internet provided so many choices. It didn’t matter if every broadcast radio station was owned by the same company and kept playing the same four songs day in and day out. You have Satellite Radio; you’ve got the Internet; you have millions of choices out there.

And now…

Now the two main satellite radio companies, XM and Sirius, are about to merge. And Viacom has filed a $1 billion lawsuit against YouTube. Conservatives are always blubbering about “too many lawsuits,” “too much litigation,” “too many lawyers.” But when a multi-billion dollar corporation sues a smaller rival, these same conservatives just clam right up and slither into the woodwork. (If only they'd stay there.)

Just like print media and our "public" airwaves, the Internet is turning into the personal fiefdom of a few corporate leeches.

UPDATE: Please sign these two online petitions, here and here, to save Internet Radio.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Inside Iran

This article is a glimpse of life in Tehran. The author has walked through miles of streets, alleys and bazaars, talking with local merchants. They aren’t happy.

The merchants who run the bazaar, together with the banking industry, are a powerful force in Iran. They helped finance Khomeini’s takeover in 1979. As the author says, they “can make or break a government. Right now they are not a particularly happy bunch.”

Like all business people, these merchants want stability and certainty, and this isn't being provided by Ahmadinejad. One merchant says “My sales are down by 50 to 60 percent. I’m very worried about sanctions. Things are going to get much worse than they already are.”

Referring to Bush and Ahmadinejad, another merchant says “Why don’t they just talk? This shouting does nobody any good.”

Ahmadinejad got elected by promising to improve the lives of ordinary Iranians and to distribute the country’s oil wealth more widely. It hasn’t happened. Inflation is officially 13% but everyone says it’s actually twice that high.

This article is a reminder (for those of us who need reminding) that Iran isn't just a spot on the map for us to invade. It’s not a one-dimensional demon that we need to exorcise. It’s a country with millions of real people, just like us; people who are living their lives, taking care of their families and trying to make ends meet.

Since Bush and Ahmadinejad are both belligerent assholes, maybe they could just step into the ring and beat the shit out of each other and leave the rest of us out of it. Or like the man said, “why don’t they just talk?”

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Christianity’s Ugly Stepchild

This Newsweek column (by Lisa Miller) brought on waves of nostalgia. Those forgotten memories… I remember now: at one time Christianity was supposed to be about helping others; feeling a sense of duty; humility; and not judging others lest ye be judged.

Yes, it’s all coming back now. There really was a time when the “Homosexual Agenda” wasn’t the scariest threat facing our nation. Back then, fears of nuclear annihilation and worldwide destruction were much more alarming than dirty words on a TV show. Helping the less fortunate was more important than spewing hatred at everyone who was “different.”

What the fuck happened?

Most of today’s “Christians” are so obsessed with abortion and gay marriage, they’ve forgotten to look up, look around and see what's going on out there in the real world. We’re facing some unimaginable environmental catastrophes, whether they occur next year or the next century. We have a certifiable nutcase in the White House who’s determined to stir up as much trouble around the world as he possibly can. Millions of Americans are living in poverty. Millions more are one paycheck away from homelessness.

Hello??? Does this ring a bell? Any Christians out there? Regardless of anyone’s political opinions about these problems, these are moral issues if there ever was such a thing. Aren’t these the problems Christians should be concerned with? What Would Jesus Do?

As Lisa Miller says, Christians used to “put the suffering of those with less above the suffering of those with more.”

On the day of John F. Kennedy’s funeral, Robert Kennedy wrote a note to his oldest daughter, Kathleen (she was 12 at the time): “You seemed to understand that Jack died and was buried today. As the oldest of the Kennedy grandchildren—you have a particular responsibility now—a special responsibility to John and Joe. Be kind to others and work for your country. Love, Daddy.”

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend now has a book out, “Failing America’s Faithful.” As Lisa Miller puts it, this book is “mourning a world in which being Christian meant caring for others and making sacrifices to solve problems.”

America’s churches have been in the forefront of almost every battle for justice: abolishing slavery, women’s suffrage, the labor movement, the civil rights battles of the 1950s and ‘60s. Today, the people who fought those battles have been replaced by Jerry Falwell, Fred Phelps and James Dobson.

I’m on the American Family Association’s mailing list (“Know Your Enemy” and all that). You wouldn’t believe the hateful, simple-minded garbage they spit out several times a week. 99.9% of it is either about homosexuals or a TV show they're trying to ban. There's never a word about species’ being killed off, or people being downsized out of their jobs and onto the street. Their website has to be seen to be believed. Look at this shit. You'll either bust a gut laughing or be so pissed off you'll have steam coming out of your ears — or both.

There are undoubtedly millions of Christians who are well-intentioned and concerned about other people. But unfortunately their “leaders” — the ones who keep grabbing all the headlines (and the money) — are a bunch of simple-minded douchebags who wish they could turn the clock back to the good old days of the Spanish Inquisition and the Salem Witch Trials.

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Blogs For Bush

Hat Tip to PoliShifter at Pissed On Politics for inspiring this post. Yes, it’s another post about chickenhawks; keyboard warriors; the Chairborne Division. With Bush getting ready to surge all over Iraq, this is more of a sore subject than ever.

The editor of Blogs For Bush, Mark Noonan, wanted to re-enlist after the 9/11 attacks. (He had already spent four years in the Navy.) Alas, he was unable to re-enlist because of his age; he was too old. He’s 42 years old — he turns 43 next November.

But wait — the good news is: the enlistment age has been raised to 42. Mark will now be able to re-enlist after all, if he hurries. Isn’t that great?!?!?! You Go Mark!

Blogs For Bush has been spewing out Neocon drivel since October 2003. Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction. Iraq was connected with the 9/11 attacks. Hussein was closely allied with al Qaeda. Our mission in Iraq is to bring democracy. Etc.

Special Bonus: If you're an unattached wingnut and you're looking for that special someone, check out their section on Conservative Singles. Their motto is “Sweethearts not bleeding hearts.” Ain't that romantic.


UPDATE: Please sign this online petition to send Mark Noonan to Iraq. (Hat Tip to Whisperwolf.)

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Thursday, March 08, 2007


With everybody weighing in on the Libby verdict and what it means, let’s hear what a former CIA Director has to say:

“I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious of traitors.”

Those words were spoken by George Herbert Walker Bush on April 26, 1999. Well, George Dumbya, now you know what your father thinks of you. Traitor!

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Dick Cheney Dies At Walter Reed Hospital

The Vice President of the United States, Dick Cheney, has died at Walter Reed Hospital. He was checked in yesterday for routine tests after a blood clot was discovered. He developed a severe infection due to a rat infestation in his room and a mysterious fungus growing on the walls, and has now died as a result of the infection.

The Vice President has no connection with the U.S. Army — he bragged repeatedly about his five draft deferments and his “other priorities” during the Vietnam War. But somehow the keywords “one heartbeat away” and “commander-in-chief” ended up in his online profile. This caused the Vice President to be sent to Walter Reed for treatment, even though this hospital is ONLY for soldiers and veterans.

The recently-fired General who was in charge of Walter Reed Hospital and the Secretary of the Army (who fired the general and was later fired himself) were seen banging their heads against a wall. (Their own heads, not each other’s.)

A reporter heard them moaning “Why????” “Who Knew????” “We could’ve killed those rats years ago; should’ve scrubbed that mold off the walls back in ’93.” “How were we supposed to know a VIP would be sent here???” “I thought this hellhole was only for grunts, gimps, you know, blue-collar types…”

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Monday, March 05, 2007

What Ever Happened to Northern Ireland?

Remember “the Troubles” — all the firebombings, killings and maimings that were making international headlines for so long? Well, there's a reason Northern Ireland is out of the news. “The Troubles” are (mostly) over.

Their economy is booming (4.5% unemployment rate) and Belfast is a major tourist destination. We all know that Vietnam is now a major commercial center and tourist attraction, but I didn’t know this about Northern Ireland until I read a travel article in the Sunday paper.

If this can happen in Northern Ireland, maybe there's hope for other war-torn countries. Northern Ireland was devastated from the late 1960s through the mid-‘90s by civil warfare. A friend of mine from Ireland told me a long time ago he thought Ireland was “the most fucked up country in the world.” Hopefully some other “trouble” spots will make this same transition.

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Cheney: “We Need To Get Out of Iraq NOW!”

OK, he didn’t actually say that. But with Cheney’s near-perfect record of wrong predictions, this seems like the clearest choice. We've all heard jokes about people listening to the weather forecast and then dressing for the exact opposite. “Mostly sunny today” equals “break out the raincoat and umbrella.”

It’s the same with Dick “Wrong Way Corrigan” Cheney. The person who brought us “our soldiers will be greeted as liberators” and “the insurgency is on its last legs” has struck again.

“If our coalition withdrew before Iraqis could defend themselves…the violence would likely spread throughout the country and be very difficult to contain. Having tasted victory in Iraq, the militants would look for new missions.” Well there you have it, straight from the horse’s mouth. Hurry up and get our troops out of that hellhole and bring them home. Now.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Defense Secretary Gates: “Shocked” at Treatment of Wounded Soldiers

“Oh shit, what are those whiny gimp-ass veterans bitching about now? OOPS, there's a TV camera. Uh, ahem, I, I want you to know that I’m just shocked — shocked! — by these horrible revelations from Walter Reed Hospital.”

Nice try Asshole. There's nothing new about the inhuman treatment of disabled veterans and wounded soldiers. But whenever a new horror story leaks out, it’s time for the VIP of the month to start preening in front of the cameras and act horrified and concerned, and promise to "look into it."

This situation shows the huge disconnect between millions of “Support Our Troops!” bumperstickers and yellow ribbons, and the true priorities of our armchair warriors. Once our soldiers come home wounded or disabled, they just get thrown away like an empty bottle. This is a generalization, but most of the people in Congress who keep reducing funds for veterans’ care are the same rightwing chickenhawk bitches who slander and smear anyone who disagrees with the Iraqi invasion. And the legislators who fight for veterans’ benefits are mostly those leftwing moonbats who “don’t support the troops.”

Some soldiers at Walter Reed have been punished for speaking to the media, and they’ve been warned to keep quiet. The Pentagon is now clamping down on media coverage of any and all Defense Department medical facilities. Everything was going just fine until that damn media started nosing around.

If you really think the Defense Department gives a flying fuck about any of our wounded soldiers, check this out. It’s a report about “military out-patients warehoused in quarters unfit for human habitation…They’ve been living in rat and roach-infested rooms, some of which are coated in black mold.”

And now that these sickening conditions have been revealed: “Within 24 hours, construction crews were working overtime, slapping over the moldy drywall, patching the sagging ceilings and putting out traps and poison for the critters that infest the place.”

Yup, things are gonna change now.

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